Monday, 20 October 2014
The BBC is set to launch a new online game, titled The Doctor and the Dalek and voiced by Peter Capaldi,aimed at children as part of the BBC's Make it Digital Initiative. You can read the press release below. A series of screenshots and promotional images are included. Please click on the images to enlarge.
Introduces computing skills to children as they help the Doctor on his latest adventure
The BBC has today announced The Doctor and the Dalek, a new online game for CBBC audiences voiced by Peter Capaldi. The game sees the newly regenerated Twelfth Doctor thrown into a dangerous quest with his most devious of enemies in a new, standalone, story from Doctor Who and Wizards vs Aliens TV writer, Phil Ford.
The Doctor and the Dalek – which has been specially released to be part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, digital technology and programming – will be available freely at bbc.co.uk/cbbc from Wednesday 22nd October.
The Doctor and the Dalek
Players join the action as the TARDIS materialises amidst a deadly pursuit through space – a Dalek Saucer bearing down on a Cyber-ship. But from that Cyber-ship emanates a distress call – from a Dalek! On freeing the battered Dalek from his Cybermen captors, the Doctor finds himself taking his new unlikely ally on a mission to save all of creation from destruction at the hands of his greatest enemies.
But why would a Dalek turn to its mortal foe for help? To find out, join the Doctor and the Dalek in a new adventure spanning the Sontar homeworld and its vile Clone Chambers, which have never been shown on-screen before, as well as reintroducing the icy Cyber-tombs of Telos – last seen in classic Doctor Who episodes.
The Doctor said: "Oi! Short and not-very-old one! I need your help - I’ve got a Dalek and we’ve got a mission to save the universe. So get on over to the CBBC website, and play The Doctor and the Dalek while there’s still a universe left! Come on! Chop chop! Make it Digital on the BBC."
Introducing computing skills
A range of puzzles are featured throughout the game, where players must take control of the Dalek and program it to “power up” its ability to perform a range of tasks, such as flying. Each puzzle unlocks an achievement that helps the Doctor build the Dalek back to full strength, ensuring it can take on increasingly difficult challenges as the game progresses.
The puzzles are linked to the new computing curriculum and are designed to allow children across the UK to pick up core programming principles as they play. Several key stage 2 and 3 curriculum points – such as combining instructions to accomplish a given goal, using variables to alter behaviour, repetition and loops, and logical reasoning – are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay and, most importantly for children, are intuitive and fun.
Resources accompanying the game will be available from BBC Learning at bbc.co.uk/schoolscomputing for teachers and parents to help children get the most out of the game. These will provide links to other resources available from across the BBC and third parties, enabling children and teachers to take their learning journeys further.
Danny Cohen, BBC Director of Television, said: “The Doctor and the Dalek is a brand new Doctor Who story and a fantastic game, voiced by the wonderful Peter Capaldi. It’s an excellent example of how a hugely popular BBC show can give fans something extra, whilst also introducing wider audiences to increasingly important skills, such as coding and programming.”
Sinéad Rocks, Head of BBC Learning, said: “We’re really excited about the launch of The Doctor and the Dalek as not only is it a really entertaining platform game for kids to play but it’s also a great introduction to some key principles of computer programming. Every puzzle has a strong link to the KS2 or KS3 computing curriculum. So we think it’s going to be a really valuable tool for students, parents and teachers.”
The Doctor and the Dalek was commissioned by BBC Learning, developed and produced by BBC Wales and Somethin’ Else in association with BBC Future Media.
Sunday, 19 October 2014
The BBC have, for some reason, released these two promotional pictures for the following episode, In the Forest of the Night, early. More are expected at the usual time, Midnight tomorrow night.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
In the preview trailer for the next episode, In the Forest of the Night, we see a London bus in the forest. If we look closely, we can see what appears to be a promotional shot of The Doctor and Clara with the quote "A-Maze-Ing Entertainment!" and four stars below it.
Here is the original piece that the art belongs to. This is a fan-made wallpaper photoshopped from the official promotional images released early this year. The creator, Logan Fulford, originally uploaded the wallpaper to his Flickr account late January. It can be noted how we don't see the logo on the bus.
(While this review does not contain major spoilers or specifics, some minor things may be given away (a few more than usual this week!). It also draws your attention to hints in the episode. Read at your own discretion.)
If last week's episode wasn't impressive enough, this episode is the episode that got the writer, Jamie Mathieson, the writing gig. This episode most certainly continues the "golden age" of series 8.
Mathieson continues his unique approach to the Doctor Who universe. In this episode, the Doctor and Clara faces an enemy from another dimension, leeching from the TARDIS, shrinking its exterior shell and trying to figure out our universe. In the process, we see The Doctor get trapped in the TARDIS as he hands over his sonic screwdriver to Clara and practically forces her to become "The Doctor" (remember all that female Doctor talk?), which is especially fun to watch after his attempt to "take the wheels off her bike" in Kill the Moon. The Doctor is still very much an important part of the episode, even if he's trapped inside, putting to rest fan's concerns about it being Doctor-lite, but rather it is a Clara-heavy episode, which will come to the dislike of many Clara-haters.
Clara takes the opportunity to take her view of The Doctor to heart and portrays it, making the episode quite humorous, which gets pulled off quite well.
We also get to see the problems The Doctor faces when dealing with groups. All in all, the episode is pretty meta, which seems to increasingly be the thing now, for both Who and in general.
Mathieson has done a very good job of giving the episode a good mixture of humour and quite a dark drama. It's a clever episode and, almost as importantly, it doesn't act like it's clever. It just is.
While the lack of Samuel Anderson's Danny Pink fits the episode quite well, it doesn't fit the series. We're beginning to get a little bored of not seeing him, especially as we were first introduced to him as a companion. It also means that the final three episodes have a lot of questions to be answered.
If there's one slightly niggle I have about the deaths, and that is that most are people we've had absolutely no connection to and it somewhat feels that this was done on purpose. Yet another issue with the 45-minute limit.
The episode feels like it drew from Misfits a good proportion. We have a group of people on community service try to save the day against a super-powered enemy and lots of death involved, although the group is far more diverse. It's quite a nice thing to see and, even if there wasn't a blown out reference, it could be a nice little hint to another British culture TV show that lasted a few years.
The episode isn't all perfect, however, and looking back on a scene in particular, the cold open is great at starting a mystery, but it feels left alone. Only a very small subset of the questions posed in it were ever answered and looking back on the episode while rewatching, I completely forgot that scene even existed. The story could easily have saved a minute by removing it or possibly changing it slightly. Or even referencing that it existed.
The direction of the episode is wonderful, Clearly a fan of the rule of thirds, Douglas MacKinnon provides a wonderful set of excellent shots throughout, such as some wobbly camera work at the beginning, making the audience feel uneasy about the events. The episode is well paced and without the "for the hell of it" bits (i.e. slow motion shots!).
The CGI in the episode is extra-ordinary and I must congratulate Axis on it. Mostly. The interaction between The Doctor and Clara through the shrunken TARDIS doors is very realistic and the creatures are quite bone-chilling. However, I'm not sure how well the later regions of the episode will work out at the higher resolutions since it did look a little aged on the low-resolution preview. Although I fail to believe there wasn't enough budget to hide the identifying marks on the iPad!
Capaldi gave a wonderful performance in the TARDIS in the TARDIS, while Coleman was brilliant in pretending to be The Doctor, taking the main role in the episode and delivering a top notch performance. Joivan Wade was excellent as Rigsy and Christopher Fairbank was heartwarming as the community service supervisor, Fenton. However, the rest of the community service group felt like they were just randomly chosen from passers-by and didn't really add much to the story.
Murray Gold's music in the episode, while awesome, is quite repetitive from the previous weeks and, in some parts, rather strangely placed.
This episode is very unique, entertaining, and very well scripted, acted and constructed. I would rate this episode 8/10.